There won’t be any mini-drama this season about Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid either teaming up or facing off in the All-Star Game.
NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis has been moved from 2021 to 2024, the league announced Wednesday. The NBA intends to play a 72-game season despite the coronavirus pandemic but, per a press release, was unable to “appropriately plan and execute fan-focused All-Star activities.” Cleveland and Salt Lake City are set to be All-Star hosts in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Plans for a “revised NBA All-Star 2021” will be announced at a later date, according to the release.
We’ll see what form those adjusted All-Star activities take, but it’s possible the Sixers will derive some small benefits from not having a usual All-Star Weekend. Embiid missed eight consecutive games with a left knee injury after playing 23 minutes in the 2019 All-Star Game, while Simmons’ back injury last season surfaced soon after the All-Star break. The Sixers surely wouldn’t mind their two young stars having a chance to rest in mid-February.
New Sixers additions Danny Green and Seth Curry are past Three-Point Contest participants. Dwight Howard and his Superman attire won the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest.
With Simmons coming off a season-ending left knee injury and sustained health elusive in the past for Embiid, load management will be an interesting subject for the Sixers. Howard will turn 35 years old next month. Green is 33.
“You pay attention to your staff, you pay attention to your players, and then you just figure it out,” head coach Doc Rivers said in October. “Load management is so individual-based; it’s not team-based. Every individual has a limit, right? So we’ll figure that out.
"Ben (Simmons), when healthy, seems to play more games right now. Joel, it seems like he’s gradually (increasing), which is a good thing. It’s not just that. It’s minutes, it’s practice time. It encompasses a lot of stuff. And every team has to deal with it, and we’ll have to deal with it here, and we’ll probably figure it out.”